This book addresses the significant environmental changes experienced by
high latitude and high altitude ecosystems at the beginning of the 21st century.
Increased temperatures and precipitation, reduction in sea ice and
glacier ice, the increased levels of UV-radiation and the long-range transported
contaminants in arctic and alpine regions are stress factors that
challenge terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
It is a general belief that the fruits and vegetables that our parents ate when they were
growing up were more nutritious and enriched with essential mineral nutrients and
were less contaminated with toxic trace elements than the ones that are being consumed
by us currently. A study of the mineral content of fruits and vegetables
grown in Great Britain between 1930 and 1980 has added weight to that belief
with findings of such decreases in nutrient density.
The present book is the final milestone in the radioecology programme, RAD, carried out from
1990 to 1993 under the Nordic Committee for Nuclear Safety Research, NKS. This work was done
in parallel to three other NKS programmes: Reactor safety (SIK), Waste and decommissioning
(KAN), and Emergency preparedness (BER). The NKS was established in 1966 and was financed
by the Nordic Council of Ministers from 1977 to 1989.
This ancient Native American proverb and what it implies resonates
today as it has become increasingly obvious that people’s actions
and interactions with the environment affect not only living conditions
now, but also those of many generations to follow. Humans must
address the effect they have on the Earth’s climate and how their choices
today will have an impact on future generations.